On Tuesday, April 4, 2023, the Supreme Court of Missouri reinstated attorney Ambry Nichole Schuessler after being suspended from the practice of law for hiding knowledge regarding a brutal assault matter.
The case is entitled “In the Matter of Ambry Nichole Schuessler,” and was brought by the Office of Chief Disciplinary Counsel with case no. SC99529.
The charges cited Missouri Rules of Professional Conduct 4-1.13, 4-8.4(c)(d), 4-8.4(g)(c)(d) which states:
Failing to disclose information regarding the co-assistant circuit attorney’s knowledge of and conduct following the police detective’s assault on the suspect in custody.
By making a racist and homophobic comment about the suspect’s assault.
Failing to disclose her knowledge of the assault by the police detective and her repeated dishonesty during the investigation and prosecution of the police detective.
The Rules of Professional Conduct can be found here.
In an opinion issued on August 13, 2019, it was stated that the Office of Chief Disciplinary Counsel (OCDC) requested to discipline the respondent and another named Katherine Anne Dierdorf for multiple violations of the Rules of Professional Conduct in relation to their dishonesty and concealment of a brutal assault of a suspect in custody by a police detective. At the time of the incident, the respondent and Ms. Dierdorf were serving as assistant circuit attorneys with the office of the circuit attorney of the city of St. Louis.
The Opinion states:
“On speakerphone, Det. Carroll proceeded to describe how he beat up the suspect who stole his daughter’s credit card. He explained that he punched the suspect in the face and kicked the suspect while he was in a holding cell. He further stated he hit the suspect in the back with a chair and stuck a gun in the suspect’s mouth. Ms. Schuessler then made the comment, “I bet that’s not the first big, black thing he’s had in his mouth.” Det. Carroll and Ms. Worrell laughed. After the conversation ended, Ms. Schuessler did not report Det. Carroll’s assault of the suspect on her supervisors. That afternoon, Ms. Worrell went to the warrant office even though she was not assigned to the warrant office that day. She issued charges against the suspect Det. Carroll was assaulted, including a felony charge for fleeing custody.”
The Opinion continues:
“Ms. Schuessler explained to IAD that she had learned a charge of resisting arrest or fleeing custody had been brought against the suspect Det. Carroll assaulted. When asked how she found out about the charge or why she believed the charge was false, she said Ms. Dierdorf had told her about it Thursday morning after learning Ms. Worrell issued the case. IAD also asked Ms. Schuessler to explain how she knew Det. Carroll “beat the crap out of” the suspect. She told IAD Ms. Worrell had been in her office talking to Det. Carroll on the telephone. She did not tell IAD the conversation was on speakerphone. Instead, she said she could hear only Ms. Worrell’s portion of the conversation and gleaned information about the assault from it.”
The Opinion further states:
“It was not until her second interview with the FBI on September 9, 2014, that Ms. Dierdorf admitted she knew about the assault on Wednesday morning following her discussion with Ms. Worrell and Ms. Doe in her office. She also admitted to describing the assault to Ms. Schuessler and Ms. Collins on Thursday. She further admitted she had lied to her supervisors about when she learned about the assault. Finally, she told the FBI that the telephone conversation between Ms. Worrell and Det. Carroll on Thursday night was about the assault and the investigation.”
The Opinion additional notes:
“Det. Carroll pleaded guilty to deprivation of rights under color of state law, 18 U.S.C. § 242. At his sentencing hearing, Det. Carroll disputed he used a gun during the assault of the suspect. Ms. Schuessler was called to testify. During her testimony, Ms. Schuessler was impeached because of her prior inconsistent statements to her supervisors, IAD, and the FBI. The sentencing judge determined Det. Carroll used a gun during the assault and enhanced Det. Carroll’s sentence to 52 months in prison.”
In lieu of the proceedings, the court ordered that the respondent be suspended indefinitely from the practice of law with no leave to apply for reinstatement for a period of two years from the date the mandate was issued.
The respondent petitioned for reinstatement after the two-year period during which he was not permitted to do so. Upon consideration of the court, it granted the reinstatement of attorney Schuessler.
The order states:
“Petitioner’s petition for reinstatement after discipline sustained. Petitioner is ordered reinstated as a member of The Missouri Bar in good standing.”
Ms. Schuessler practices in Saint Louis, Missouri. She is licensed in Missouri. Her info can be found on avvo.com.
A copy of the original filing can be found here.